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Void Agreement vs. Illegal Agreement: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 18, 2024
A Void Agreement is legally unenforceable from the start, while an Illegal Agreement involves terms that violate the law or public policy.
Void Agreement vs. Illegal Agreement

Key Differences

A Void Agreement is a contract that lacks legal validity or enforceability from its inception. In contrast, an Illegal Agreement not only lacks enforceability but also involves elements that are expressly forbidden by law. Both types of agreements are null in the eyes of the law, but for different reasons.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024
The nature of a Void Agreement is such that it lacks one or more essential elements of a valid contract, like consent or lawful object. An Illegal Agreement, however, always involves a purpose or consideration that is illegal or against public policy, making it inherently unlawful.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024
Void Agreements might occur due to factors like mutual mistake or impossibility of performance, which render the agreement non-binding. Illegal Agreements, on the other hand, are agreements made with the intention to undertake activities that are criminal, immoral, or opposed to public policy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024
In the case of Void Agreements, the law typically treats the contract as if it never existed. Conversely, Illegal Agreements can sometimes lead to legal penalties for the parties involved because they imply an intent to engage in illegal activities.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024
It is important to note that while all Illegal Agreements are void, not all Void Agreements are illegal. This distinction underscores the inherently unlawful nature of Illegal Agreements, as opposed to the sometimes innocuous nature of Void Agreements.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Legal Status

Not legally enforceable from inception
Not enforceable and involves illegal terms
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Nature of Invalidity

Lacks essential contract elements like consent
Involves illegal or immoral actions
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Legal Consequences

Typically no penalties; treated as non-existent
Can lead to legal penalties
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Intent of Parties

May not involve wrongful intent
Often involves intent to engage in illegal activities
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Public Policy Consideration

Not necessarily against public policy
Always against public policy
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024
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Void Agreement and Illegal Agreement Definitions

Void Agreement

A contract void from the beginning.
An agreement with a minor is void from the outset.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Illegal Agreement

A contract against public policy.
An agreement promoting racial discrimination is illegal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Void Agreement

A contract with no legal force.
An agreement to perform an impossible task is void.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Illegal Agreement

A contract involving unlawful activities.
An agreement to commit a crime is illegal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Void Agreement

An agreement lacking essential contractual elements.
A contract without mutual consent is void.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024
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Illegal Agreement

An enforceable agreement involving illegal terms.
A contract with clauses violating employment laws is illegal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Void Agreement

An agreement without legal effect.
A contract for an illegal object is void.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Illegal Agreement

A legally forbidden agreement.
A contract for bribery is illegal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Void Agreement

An agreement that is unenforceable by law.
A contract based on a mutual mistake of fact is void.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Illegal Agreement

An agreement prohibited by law.
A contract to trade illegal drugs is illegal.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is a void agreement punishable?

Generally, no, unless it involves elements that make it illegal.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Can parties enforce a void agreement?

No, a void agreement is unenforceable.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Are illegal agreements enforceable?

No, they are not enforceable and may lead to legal penalties.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Are all illegal agreements void?

Yes, all illegal agreements are considered void.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Are all void agreements illegal?

No, void agreements are not necessarily illegal.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Are void agreements always obvious?

Not always; sometimes, it becomes apparent after a legal analysis.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Can a void agreement become valid later?

No, it's void from the start and cannot become valid.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

What is an illegal agreement?

A contract with terms that violate the law or public policy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Is ignorance of the law an excuse for entering into an illegal agreement?

No, ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Can an illegal agreement become legal?

No, an illegal agreement remains unlawful.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Do illegal agreements always involve criminal activities?

Not always, but they involve activities against the law or public policy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Do parties in a void agreement face legal consequences?

Typically, they do not face legal consequences unless the agreement is illegal.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

What makes an agreement void?

Lack of essential elements like capacity, consent, or lawful object.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Can a void agreement be rectified?

It depends on the reason it's void; some issues can be corrected.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Are void agreements subject to court review?

Yes, if there's a dispute about the agreement's validity.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Are void agreements common?

Yes, they can occur frequently due to oversight or misunderstanding.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Can a contract become illegal after signing?

Yes, if subsequent laws render its terms illegal.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Do illegal agreements always lead to criminal charges?

Not always, but they can result in civil or criminal consequences.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Can a party withdraw from an illegal agreement?

Yes, but the agreement remains void and may have legal implications.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Do both parties suffer equally in illegal agreements?

It depends on the case and their involvement in the illegality.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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